This September marks 40 years since America was introduced to everyone’s favorite female crime fighting trio. The iconic ABC television series, Charlie’s Angels, focused on three beautiful women who just graduated from the Los Angeles Police Academy who were recruited by their boss, Charlie Townsend, to work as private investigators. Charlie was an elusive boss and was never fully pictured on screen. Together, these girls went on crazy crime fighting adventures and showed America what “Girl Power” was through the mid 70’s and 80’s.
There were many angels throughout the series of the show, but the most iconic members were the original three: Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, and Jaclyn Smith. They embodied the right looks and styles of the time and were envied by all. Farrah with her golden locks, stood out from brunettes Jaclyn and Kate. Producers originally wanted a blonde, brunette, and red head, but Smith they couldn’t resist casting Smith in the show. With their martial art moves and latest hi tech gadgets, the angels seemed to be ahead of their time. When the show aired, it was after the height of the feminist movement in the United States. Viewers were upset at first, and some still are, with the way they were portrayed in the show, but ultimately the backlash quieted down. After five seasons, the show was canceled in 1981.
Almost 20 years later in 2001, a film adaptation was released and became a box office hit. Three “it girls” of the early 2000s came together for the revamping of Charlie’s Angels. Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu are our current generation’s Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, and Jaclyn Smith. These women were able to fill the shoes of the original trio and get a whole new female audience to envy their badass crime fighting skills. The film was so successful that it led to a 2003 sequel, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.
Hopefully, film makers will get a clue with the rise of feminism and bring the angels back for millennials. With a successful television and film series, there is clearly something unique about these crime fighters, no matter who is playing the characters on the big screen.